Avalanche Observation, Odell Gully

By Helon Hoffer | Mount Washington Avalanche Center

Date of Observation: January 28, 2019  1:00 PM
Location of Observation: Huntington Ravine

Odell Gully
Likely occurred evening of 1/27 or later that night.

Upon touring into Huntington, debris was visible in the run out of Odell Gully. We could not identify a crown, though we think it initiated on or just below the ice. The debris was 2 feet deep in places, with a vertical run of perhaps 300 feet.

We also noted that the January 25 melt/freeze crust was visible in many places in the Fan, as well as at mid-elevations of the North Wall. Central, above the ice in Odell, and South all looked very smooth and pillowed. We skied from roughly the start of Pinnacle Buttress (rock climb) and crossed though the debris in Odell. The snow surface varied from Where the wind slab existed as a cohesive layer, there was a definite softer layer below. We saw minimal cracking on our kick turns and hand shears had varied results, with some failing on isolation and some requiring minimal effort.


Snowpack observations are one part of the complex puzzle which is your decision to enter avalanche terrain. Some observations may include stability tests. It’s important to understand that the results of a stability tests are seldom conclusive anywhere, but particularly in snow climates and terrain like ours where the primary driver of instabilities is wind drifted snow. Many stability tests exist and each works best with specific avalanche problem types. Stability test results should never be used alone as an indication that a slope or conditions are safe particularly when more obvious red flags are present. Please use this page as part of your information gathering process, but don’t make decisions based on a single piece of information. A good article that summarizes some of the issues associated with snow and avalanche observations can be found here.

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center cannot verify the quality or accuracy of any observations that come from the general public.


See an avalanche or evidence of previous avalanche activity?  Near-miss? Snowpack observations?

Your observations are valuable to an accurate forecast! We welcome observations from everyone. You don’t need to be an avalanche professional to submit helpful observations, just be as detailed and accurate as you can.